I am in my early 30s and have a Psych degree with a writing minor which I earned from Oregon State University in June 2012. I am from a large family, with lots of siblings and a growing number of nieces and nephews. They have been my rock foundation from which I have rebuilt my life in face of my new circumstances.
I was in the Army reserve in Portland, Oregon, when my wreck occurred that left me an L-1 incomplete paraplegic. As a result of my injury, I had to leave my career. For eight years after the accident I struggled to find a new path.
Then I came across the Disabled Hunter Magazine (from the editors of Able Outdoors). After reading all the stories, every word, I was incredibly inspired by the experiences that were shared. Feeling a connection with the individuals that were featured on that site, I realized I had a story of my own to share…I am an avid sportsman who is trying to adapt my “disability” to conquer the Oregon outdoors. So I worked my way through a couple of professional writing classes and wrote a piece to submit to the DHM.
Seeing and reading about all the resources and stories in DHM inspired me to start a business similar to my outdoor buddies, here in Oregon. I am in the beginning stages still, but there is headway being made. I have even contacted Andy Janicki, a guy featured in one of the articles, about how he used his job as Accessibility Coordinator in his state’s DNR to assist disabled people back into the field. That inspired me to contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and begin a program here in my home state called, Accessing Oregon, Inc. I have met with some resistance, but it only fuels my fire to make it happen!
The stories others have shared have done me a lot of good, and I want to have the opportunity to inspire other individuals who may be struggling like I was. It’s my way of saying, “Thank you!”
Accessing Oregon, Inc.
829 Century Dr. NE, Apt. 103
Albany, OR 97322